For roofs, swimming pools, concrete tanks and other water retaining structures, there is usually an established tradition of testing and inspection to verify that the project meets both the specified design and functionality.
When considering the high cost of repairing a leaking structure, it is imperative all waterproofing systems are properly installed and inspected by professionals, no matter the warranty or guarantee being provided. The warranties for any particular system are based on materials selected and the manufacturer. As they typically range from 5 to 10 years, the specifier should contact the manufacturer for actual requirements and specific guarantees.
Waterproofing is an art, not a science. therefore proper waterproofing selection and comprehensive documentation are the first steps towards waterproofing success. It is equally important to engage a waterproofing specialist during the design stage of a construction project to check if there are other potential areas in a project that need waterproofing. This is more of a preventive measure rather than corrective measure.
The comprehensive documentation should also point out that the subcontractor be an approved applicator of the waterproofing system manufacturer. It is also good practice that professional training be extended to the other teams involved in a project—so that the other teams may have the requisite knowledge.
To ensure the quality of the waterproofing work on a project, there should be inspection. Such an inspection of the installed waterproofing must be conducted prior to any final plastering, concreting or back-filling. This inspection allows enough time for any correctional repairs to be done or replace any damaged waterproofing material. A good practice is to require waterproofing professionals to carry out the inspection and correct any damages. Too many times we have seen people conducting inspections of waterproofing works done and they are not specifically trained to inspect, and therefore they miss obvious errors in the waterproofing works. This happens to a lot of contractors who engage in providing the waterproofing services themselves, without proper training and guidance.
The establishment of a quality waterproofing practices is extremely important for successful below-grade and above-grade waterproofing. Waterproofing material installation and related requirements should be clear and verifiable, so all parties in the project can understand the requirements for compliance. Critical to the waterproofing process is promptly reporting and taking corrective action to resolve any damages or errors to the waterproofing work.